3 Netflix Shows All Business Leaders Must Watch
If you’re like me, when you need business-related inspiration you turn to the obvious channels. LinkedIn is an accessible option that might point me to a Forbes article, or more and more over the last year, there are loads of webinars to join on a wide range of topics. Or you can never go wrong with a recent book or podcast recommendation.
However, as we understand from a young age, the best way to learn is through storytelling, and some of the most inspiring business lessons can be found, not in a news article, but on Netflix.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 3 shows to watch on Netflix that can teach us some valuable business lessons. Each of the elements below is an in-depth look at an entrepreneur who rose to the top of their field, albeit through different means and motivations.
- Self Made: Inspired by the life of Madame CJ Walker
Self made tells the story of CJ Walker, an African-American laundress who rose out of poverty to build a beauty empire and become America’s first self-made female millionaire. Faced with racial hostilities and sexism at the turn of the century in North America, Ms. CJ Walker managed to spot an otherwise unidentified gap in the dark hair care product market and started her own business.
Her business story mirrors those we see today, as she has faced a number of setbacks, fierce competition, challenges securing investors and retaining top talent. What we can learn from one of the first true entrepreneurs is how to recover from setbacks and how to learn from them as learning experiences. With just four episodes and a stand of our performance of Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, it’s well worth the watch.
- Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates
From one of the first entrepreneurs in the world, Inside Bill’s brain takes a detailed look into the life of one of the richest people in the world. The original three-part documentary on Netflix shows how the man behind Microsoft is tackling some of the world’s biggest problems, including improving sanitation in developing countries, promoting polio immunizations and fight against climate change.
Many have equated Bill Gates’ success with his way of thinking about computers, seeing the big picture, working on one task while dealing with something else. This documentary shows that it’s actually Bill’s most human elements that allow him to find the hidden patterns that give way to opportunity. The lessons available here for all business leaders are to seek a balance between intelligence, optimism and determination.
- Jiro dreams of sushi
Jiro Ono is a 95-year-old Japanese chef and owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a sushi restaurant in Tokyo. This documentary takes a look at his pursuit of perfection in all aspects of his profession and his business. It starts with its facilities and supply chain, ordering only the highest quality resources, and feeds all the way to its service, limiting its seats to just 10 at a time to ensure every customer has a personalized experience. It might be seen as a daunting task to optimize all areas of a business, but its driving force is a singular question – “Will this make sushi better?”
His work ethic and honed craftsmanship has earned him three Michelin stars and the price for his tasting menu starts at around 30,000 yen, around £ 200. While the show emphasizes the need for innovation and creativity, it’s a strong reminder that perfection comes from long-term dedication and doesn’t happen overnight. While this may be off-putting to some, it shows that many aspirations are in fact achievable if you are willing to work.
The entrepreneurs above each had a very different approach to their work, but there is something we can learn from each of them and common themes between them. Persistence in the face of adversity and a commitment to a passion is evident through all three. I’m happy to see these entrepreneurs celebrated for their innovative ways of working and look forward to discovering more through other content channels.
Please share your own favorite entrepreneur stories, as I might want to cover them in a future post.